Hilaria Baldwin is doing her part to make sure that miscarriages are talked about and the stigma is taken away. Last week, Baldwin, who is married to actor Alec Baldwin posted an emotional image on Instagram where she shared that she's "most likely" experiencing a miscarriage.
I want to share with you that I am most likely experiencing a miscarriage. I always promised myself that if I were to get pregnant again, I would share the news with you guys pretty early, even if that means suffering a public loss. I have always been so open with you all about my family, fitness, pregnancies...and I don't want to keep this from you, just because it isn't as positive and shiny as the rest. I think it's important to show the truth...because my job is to help people by being real and open.
Furthermore, I have no shame or embarrassment with this experience. I want to be a part of the effort to normalize miscarriage and remove the stigma from it. There is so much secrecy during the first trimester. This works for some, but I personally find it to be exhausting. I'm nauseous, tired, my body is changing. And I have to pretend that everything is just fine"”and it truly isn't. I don't want to have to pretend anymore. I hope you understand.
So, this is what is going on now: the embryo has a heartbeat, but it isn't strong, and the baby isn't growing very much. So we wait"”and this is hard. So much uncertainty...but the chances are very, very small that this is a viable pregnancy.
I have complete confidence that my family and I will get through this, even if the journey is difficult.I am so blessed with my amazing doctor, my dear friends, and my loving family...My husband and my four very healthy babies help me keep it together and have the perspective of how truly beautiful life is, even when it occasionally seems ugly.
The luck and gratitude I feel that I am my babies' mommy, is wonderfully overwhelming and comforting. In your comments, please be kind. I'm feeling a bit fragile and I need support. I'm hoping, that by sharing this, I can contribute to raising awareness about this sensitive topic.
The post went incredibly viral, and it gained enough traction that Baldwin was also invited onto Today to talk about her experience.
"I'm feeling okay," said Baldwin. "This is something that has not been easy...I think I'm going to have the answer one way or the other. I'm pretty sure this is not going to stick."
The yoga instructor said that the first knew something was wrong was when the technician was completely silent in the room while she was getting an ultrasound.
"The silence makes you very nervous," Baldwin said. "And this technician, she just kept being quiet and kept on trying to find the heartbeat. She could find it and she'd listen to it and hear it, [but it was] very spread apart and slow. She said to me that the heartbeat is not very fast. Then I went in again, and in the life of an embryo "” days, a week "” it's completely different. And it was the same."
The decision to go public with her possible miscarriage wasn't easy, mainly because it was complicated and confusing for Baldwin and her own emotions. She figured, however, that this was the best way for it to get out rather than someone finding out and breaking the news that way.
"It's a lot to ask of me but for me personally, it'd be harder for me to do it silently," Baldwin confessed. "Say I was doing a fitness segment. I would be wearing something different so you could not see that my belly is a little bit bigger than it typically is. I would pretend I wasn't nauseous and I would pretend I wasn't tired "” and that's really tiring. Then you put the emotion on top of that of, "˜Hey this isn't going in a great direction,' and that's a lot to bear."
"Being open for me just allowed me to relieve it a little bit," she added. "Secrets are only scary when they're secrets. Once you let the secret out, it's not so scary anymore."
Baldwin also mentioned that women need to be more open about their struggles so they can understand they're not the only ones dealing with it.
"I wanted to come out and speak about it because it's something that so many people deal with," Baldwin said on Today. "As women, we're trained to deal with it silently. You're definitely not supposed to say something until 12 weeks. And some of that is because people are superstitious or that's how they feel they're going to be stronger. And a lot of it, for other people, is fear. And I don't think that we have to live with such fear."
The openness around her miscarriage is something that has helped Baldwin through this awful journey.
"Being able to be open and speak to other people ... I got great advice," she said. "This is something I've never gone through before. Women came on my Instagram or stopped me on the street and gave me such wisdom. This isn't about me. This is about all of us."
Baldwin also mentioned that parenting in general involves ups and downs, and that's what comes with the territory.
"We just need to be a little bit more forgiving of ourselves and not just perfectionists because it's hard enough as it is," she said. "When we agree to be parents, we have to accept the good or the bad. Whether our child gets a scraped knee or gets their heart broken when they're a teenager or gets really sick or, God forbid, something worse. We have to realize it's not just all diapers and blankets and hair bows. We have to open our hearts and realize that there are bad moments too."
Baldwin's story was so powerful, she even penned an essay for Glamour about the experience. The main message was simple: this is not any woman's fault.
"I want women who have gone through this to know: There is nothing wrong with you," she pointed out. "You are not alone. I know this didn't happen because I did something wrong. This is just nature. Sharing allowed me to feel heard and helped me receive support and wisdom from other women who have experienced the same thing. Emotionally I'm still healing; physically the process is not over. Miscarriages can take days or even weeks, and I'll have more checkups ahead. But my hope is that, whether it's a miscarriage or some other trial in life, women realize that they don't have to behave a certain way, or share a certain way, or hide a certain way."
Listening to Baldwin talk about her miscarriage, you can tell that she is going through a lot. To be in the public eye while going through something so devastating cannot be something easy, but she is handling it with grace.